Logic & assumptions

Evaluation of an adaptation activity requires a clear idea of what particular actions are expected to achieve. An effective evaluation needs to examine the thinking behind these objectives, and to look beyond them to capture any unexpected and unintended outcomes.

A logic model is a graphical description of a planned process or project, and can be a useful visual map of a project’s objectives. It can help in designing an activity, but also in developing an evaluation process.

Questions to consider

  • How does the Adaptation Logic Model help you focus your evaluation?
  • What assumptions lie behind the Adaptation Logic Model and how might these be tested? Are these assumptions valid?

Adaptation Logic Model

An Adaptation Logic Model lays out clearly what an adaptation intervention hopes to achieve; who will be affected by it, how and when; and what resources will be provided. In understanding the underlying logic, you can evaluate:

  • The connections between inputs, activities and outputs
  • The planned impacts and outcomes (project objectives)
  • The appropriateness of the logic behind the intervention, including the assumptions that were made
  • If and how unexpected or unintended interventions may have come about

Determining an acceptable level of risk is a frequently made assumption: for example, a coastal defence project may be developed on the basis that not all properties can realistically be protected from a major flood event. An evaluation should examine the basis of this assumption in order to understand whether the project is doing the right thing and whether it is doing things right. A good evaluation must also explore any unintended and unexpected outcomes and impacts, particularly in a relatively new field such as climate adaptation.